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Introduction / Families


James Reid and Isabella Reid brought their family to Holland, Pharay sometime in the mid to late 1880s, probably after the death of Stewart Drummond in 1888. They were the first of the “newcomers” to Pharay and they remained until 1925.

James Leslie Reid was born in Westray on 5th December 1847 to Samuel Reid and Janet Reid. He married Isabella Reid on 4th November 1870. Isabella, born 18th January 1849, was the daughter of Robert Reid and Ann Patterson of Millhouse, Westray.

James and Isabella lived at Smitlady, Westray where all but their youngest child were born:
  • Jemima Reid, b. 15th May 1871 who married John Scott Seatter and lived at Hammer, Pharay for a time
  • Ann Reid, b. 25th October 1872 and married Thomas Stevenson in 1894. She died 26th February 1944, age seventy one at Newton, Evie. Thomas died 11th May 1958.
  • Samuel Reid,b. 25th April 1874 and died five months later on 24th September.
  • Jessie Reid, b. 7th June 1876 who married Thomas Drever of Helzie, Westray (son of John Drever and Jane Gray) on 7th August 1902 at Holland. Jessie died 13th December 1911, age 35 at Helzie. They had family.
  • Robert Reid, b 11th July 1879 who married Elizabeth Hercus
  • Agnes Wilson Reid, b. 15th March 1883 and died on Pharay on 16th February 1902
  • John Reid, b. 14th February 1890 at Holland

Thomas Harcus and Elizabeth Harcus were siblings, children of Peter Harcus and Margaret Drever of Doggerboat.

James was familiar with Pharay probably before he moved there, because he, his brother and others had the contract to build the school there in 1884. The Reids were known as masons, and they did the stone and slate work on the new building. Their association with the school remained: in 1901 the schoolteacher, William Macallum, was boarding with them at Holland, rather than living in the teacher’s quarters in the school house.

The family stayed in Pharay until 1925 when they returned to Westray, settling at Garth. James died at Garth 27th December 1930, age eighty three, and Isabella died 24th June 1939, age eighty nine.

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